July 8, 1903

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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

This matter was fully threshed out, and statements were made pro and con, and I do not hesitate to say that there was by no means any satisfactory evidence that this appliance had been determined upon as suitable or as in the interests of the employees of the railway. The Master Car Builders' Association represents the interests of all who are running trains, and this association have enforced the use throughout the United States of almost every safety appliance that was necessary in the interests of. the employees. They are regarded as an association of such authority, that the law of most of the states of the union declares that what they endorse as a proper appliance must be used upon the cars. They have not approved of this side ladder.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

That was in the evidence, but I would like to see the proof of that statement. In the interchange of foreign cars the side ladders are used.

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IND

Arthur W. Puttee

Independent Labour

Mr. PUTTEE.

There is no room for doubt as to the position of the railway employees on this question. For the last two years this matter has been before the trainmen, and I have never heard any objection on the part of the employees to this Bill. I was recently on one of the sections of a large company in the east, where an attempt had been made to get an expression of Mr. INGRAM.

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Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

In the interchange of American cars there are some with side ladders and some without, and the Master Car Builders' Association have not required the side ladder. It has been left an open question, and that shows that the association has not been able to conclude that it was a device which would add additional safety to the men.

The fact that the cars that are coming into this country and the cars that are in this country are not uniform in this respect is an important consideration to be taken into account in the passage of such a law as this. We ought not to require that these ladders should be placed on our cars when innumerable cars are coming from the United States in the course of traffic which have not these ladders upon them. If they all had the ladders, I presume that the danger would be minimized. But as there are probably as many ears without ladders as with them, if we required all cars to have them on, we would have to exclude the cars from the United States, or we would subject the employees to still greater dangers. It is a question which we ought to be very cautious about legislating upon. It is all very well to say that some association has called upon us to do it; but these local associations do not exhaust the subject, and do not always come to right conclusions. If this device was all that is claimed for it by my hon. friend opposite, the Master Car Builders' Association would have adopted it in the United States. I do not think we need discuss the matter further. The hon. gentleman has stated his case and I have replied, and I think we might now pass the clause.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

This may not be a very important question to the hon. gentleman, but it is a serious question to the railway employees of this country. It is a matter of life and death to them; and when the hon. gentleman undertakes to reflect upon the intelligence of the trainmen of this country and tells them that they do not know what they want, I think he is going entirely too far.

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Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

What does the hon. gentleman mean ? I did not say that they did not know what they were talking about, and I would thank the hon. gentleman not to put words in my mouth which I did not use.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I am simply drawing an inference from what the hon. gentleman said.

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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

You have no right to draw that inference.

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Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

When a question comes up in this House involving the rights of the workingmen of this country and is treated in a sneering manner by some hon. gentlemen opposite, I want to say that these men have as much right to be treated with consideration in this parliament as any other men.

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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

I have as much consideration for the rights and interests of the workingmen as the hon. gentleman has.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Then the hon. gentleman should not try to prevent me putting their case before this House. Who are the master car builders ? They are mechanics who have worked in the workshops of this country. Many of them never mounted a car in their life. The trainmen who are mounting the cars night and day, in fair weather and bad weather, who take their lives in their hands, are to be told that they do not know how to mount these cars, but that they must mount them in the most dangerous way, forsooth, because the master car builders do not favour these side ladders. I know from personal experience the inconvenience that these men have to suffer. I have thousands of times mounted the railway cars of this country, and I am not ashamed of it. While doing that I associated with just as intelligent men as those I have associated with in this House-men who are as capable of understanding their requirements as hon. gentlemen in this House are capable of understanding theirs. There are college-bred men occupying positions on trains in this country, men who are as capable to be representatives in this House as hon. gentlemen who are here. And are these men to be told that they do not know what they want, that they are entirely mistaken, and that the Master Car Builders' Association know better what they require than they do themselves ? I tell you it is a matter of life and death to these men. It may be of more interest to the hon. gentleman to have the railway companies pay larger dividends instead of supplying the things that are necessary to protect the lives and limbs of their employees. I have read all this evidence given by certain railway -officials, and I say that the statements made there are not justified by the facts. I challenge the hon. minister to appoint a special committee and have the railway .employees come here, and see whether these statements are true or false. It is all very well for the large corporations to oppose side ladders because they have adopted end ladders. All I have to say is that if the employees do not know better than the companies what they require, then God help the employees. I have nothing to say against the railway companies, because it is as much in their interest to protect their employees, and not have loss of life and limb from time to time. Hon. gentlemen will find, if they look at the statistics, that railway employees have suffered accidents either by falling off cars or by coupling cars. I do feel indignant when I am told that I have stated my case once or twice, and that ought to be sufficient. When the general election comes round and that is the time these men look for redress, they will inquire from their representative whether he is Grit or Tory, if he has supported this legislation, and they will tell him that they look upon it as an important piece of legislation and such as

justify them in only voting for candidates who will support the legislation they require.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

We are dealing with a Bill governing railway matters. We have introduced clauses to protect shareholders, bondholders, farmers and passengers. The proposal is now made, at the request of the railway men, that certain clauses ought to be put in the Bill for the protection of the men who operate these railways, and we are told that we are wasting time in considering their rights. X protest against that and appeal to the hen. Minister of Labour whether it is not his duty to see that the men who work upon these trains are protected. They have asked year after year parliament to intervene. I introduced legislation in this respect years ago, but on one argument or another it was always side-tracked, and no progress made. Every time I brought It up, some insufficient reason has been given why adequate protection should not be afforded the men who operated the roads. I appeal to the hon. minister, if he is not in a position to give an answer now, to take time to consider this question, which involves the lives and safety of those men. Similar protection is given in other countries. In England the main feature of railway legislation is to secure the safety of the lives of the public and the men who operate the train, and the result is that there are fewer railway accidents in England than in any other country. This is largely due to the fact that parliament has made such provision as will not only protect the lives of the passengers but of the men who operate the trains.

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Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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The MINISTER OP RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

I have no reason to continue the discussion any later and we might as well stop at this stage. It is very evident that I cannot get the Bill finally disposed of tonight, and I therefore move that the committee report progress and ask leave to sit again.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

When will the Bill be taken up again ?

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The MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS.

It will be the first order at our next sitting.

Progress reported.

The MINISTER OP FINANCE moved the adjournment of the House.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

What will be the business for to-morrow ?

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Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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The MINISTER OP FINANCE.

This Railway Bill and one or two Bills on the Order Paper that may be dealt with, and if we reach Supply we will take up the estimates of the Department of the Interior.

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Subtopic:   G211 COMMON'S
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Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at 1.40 a.m. Thursday.



Thursday, July 9, 1903.


July 8, 1903